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Sage Barista Express - yes or no?

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Hi there! This is my first post here! This week I plan on purchasing a Barista Express machine, however after looking around the forums, it seems that the built-in grinder is causing an issue for some.

 

My question is this; I have a Rancilio Rocky grinder that I've owned from new for 5+ years. Am I better off using that grinder alongside a Duo Temp Pro OR just going for an all-one-solution like the Barista Express?

 

I like the pressure dial on the Barista Express, but I'm not sure it's worth the extra expenditure for that alone.

 

I've had my heart set on the Barista Express, but having seen people's comments on the grinder letting it down, it made me wonder if I would be better off with my Rocky grinder to take care of grinding.

 

Or am I just over-thinking all of this and the grinder is perfectly fine in the Barista Express?

 

Any thoughts??

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Ps. I know there are other great machines out there, but I'm only interested in either of these two Sage products.

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In all of the Sage products with integral grinders, the grinder is the weakest link - and they frequently breakdown. However to be honest your Rocky grinder isn't great (and you may find that the Sage grinder is actually similar or possibly even better from a grinds quality perspective) - but it'll probably stand the test of time much better than the integral Sage ones.

 

If it were me, I'd go for a Duo Temp and use the Rocky initially.... but I'd then look to upgrade the Rocky to something better (non-Sage!), which would enable the Sage to produce much better espresso.


Lots of everything: machines, grinders, roaster, beans, tampers, baskets, blah, blah

However - Too much is never enough!

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If it were me, I'd go for a Duo Temp and use the Rocky initially.... but I'd then look to upgrade the Rocky to something better (non-Sage!), which would enable the Sage to produce much better espresso.

This ...


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

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nicked from the other thread....

 

"The discount code to be used on the Sage website GCF19-gKHMUKkB-35, gets you 35% off

dose control pro works out £102

Sage smart grinder pro works out about £130"

 

DTP and grinder for not a lot...


Sage DTP | Santos #4

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Hi,

 

I am an owner of the barista express and haven’t found the grinder limiting me much. It has its drawbacks but I think it’s very good for the money. I think however, if I was buying now, I would save a little more and go with the barista pro with the faster heat up, faster milk steaming, finer grind increments and built in timer for the grinder and stopwatch for pulling shots (it starts when the button is pressed and stops when it is finished). IMO these features far outweigh the gauge on the express.

 

Hope this helps!

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Separate grinder at least something better than a rocky. Maybe even Eureka Mignon


SAGE IS NOT A UPGRADE

 

 

:)

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Thanks so much for your reply. I hadn't realised the Rocky grinder wasn't quite a leap ahead over the Barista Express' built-in one!

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Hi,

 

I am an owner of the barista express and haven’t found the grinder limiting me much. It has its drawbacks but I think it’s very good for the money. I think however, if I was buying now, I would save a little more and go with the barista pro with the faster heat up, faster milk steaming, finer grind increments and built in timer for the grinder and stopwatch for pulling shots (it starts when the button is pressed and stops when it is finished). IMO these features far outweigh the gauge on the express.

 

Hope this helps!

 

I think there are some assumptions there apart from the stop watch aspect and a faster heat up when the ordinary BE heats up quickly enough for most. Quicker switching from brew to steam is perhaps good but what about the other way where heat has to be lost.

 

I will make one point though. Both machines are programmable. This can set the size of the shot that comes out and will hold it well enough in practice. It does need people to be consistent with preparation but that is true for any method of pulling a shot. If some one isn't going to use this facility why pay for it? A DTP can only be used manually and some cash left for a grinder. Separate timers cost very little. People seem to be having problems making use of the time comments Sage make in the manual on the Touch which is similar and frankly that doesn't surprise me. The other difference is that all of the Expresses provide hot water. Some people wouldn't use that and would use a kettle or hot water dispenser instead. More scale, filter usage seems to be the main reason for that. I do use it and the programming as well.

 

;) Grinders are a tricky subject. What I would say about Sage ones is that I doubt if better can be done at their price level, built in or separate. The timer on the ordinary BE can be used but can need rather small adjustments of the knob. No timed grinder puts out exactly the same weight every time. Some just put up with the variations some say it must be exact. Others weigh every dose produced and adjust the time to keep variation down.

 

Sage use the same basic bits in all of their grinders. A while ago people would say I am buying a DTP and a SGP as that has more steps than the one built into the BE's. True but they cover a much much wider range. Having used both grinders I wouldn't be inclined to say there is that much difference in step size for espresso levels of grind. The BE's and others are limited to that range. Steps can be tuned further by adjusting the dose of grinds that is being used. Stepless grinders allow more precision but if some one hasn't used one before they would be rather surprised by how small the adjustments need to be to achieve precision.

 

John

-


In Use Sage DB+IMS Shower Screen, Niche. Profitec T64. Others Sage BE, Mazer Mini A, Ceado 37J. Projects Little Gem, Gaggia M7D

:pToo many filter baskets - maybe. For sale when I get round to it. Robur Elect, Ceado 37J, Ascaso i_1,Piccino

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LOL Ain't going to reply to this one as well.

 

John

-


In Use Sage DB+IMS Shower Screen, Niche. Profitec T64. Others Sage BE, Mazer Mini A, Ceado 37J. Projects Little Gem, Gaggia M7D

:pToo many filter baskets - maybe. For sale when I get round to it. Robur Elect, Ceado 37J, Ascaso i_1,Piccino

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Duplicate threads merged and tidied


Home Barista Training - contact me to discuss your requirements

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Used BE for 3 years and counting. Great gear and with good quality beans produces great coffee. If you like it, then go for it!

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Used BE for 3 years and counting. Great gear and with good quality beans produces great coffee. If you like it, then go for it!

 

I have ordered myself a BE this evening, price was too good to pass up on and my other half refuses to let me buy a machine and separate grinder. It's arriving Wednesday. Do you have any tips etc? it is my first time ever using an actually machine as we have upgraded from a nespresso.

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I have ordered myself a BE this evening, price was too good to pass up on and my other half refuses to let me buy a machine and separate grinder. It's arriving Wednesday. Do you have any tips etc? it is my first time ever using an actually machine as we have upgraded from a nespresso.

 

Fresh beans are a must :)


Vesuvius • Hario VST-2000B • Distributor • Push Tamper • Niche Grinder

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Good for you. One of the most important thing is coffee beans. Find a good coffee roaster near you. I suggest you buy puly descaler sachets now for your future mainteance needs (these are on amazon) and cafiza cleaning tablets. Set grind to about 8 and go from there. I measure 18g of beans on digital scales and put them in a hopper and grind it all rather than use timer that is built in. There are plenty of youtube videos giving you tips on how to pull good shots.. and just experiment until you find good balance. Tamping is important so make sure you tamp coffee nice and flat and not apply excessive force.. just a normal tamp. If you need more advice in future just drop a PM.

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Good for you. One of the most important thing is coffee beans. Find a good coffee roaster near you. I suggest you buy puly descaler sachets now for your future mainteance needs (these are on amazon) and cafiza cleaning tablets. Set grind to about 8 and go from there. I measure 18g of beans on digital scales and put them in a hopper and grind it all rather than use timer that is built in. There are plenty of youtube videos giving you tips on how to pull good shots.. and just experiment until you find good balance. Tamping is important so make sure you tamp coffee nice and flat and not apply excessive force.. just a normal tamp. If you need more advice in future just drop a PM.

 

So do you single dose using the built in grinder?


Sage DTP | Santos #4

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Good for you. One of the most important thing is coffee beans. Find a good coffee roaster near you. I suggest you buy puly descaler sachets now for your future mainteance needs (these are on amazon) and cafiza cleaning tablets. Set grind to about 8 and go from there. I measure 18g of beans on digital scales and put them in a hopper and grind it all rather than use timer that is built in. There are plenty of youtube videos giving you tips on how to pull good shots.. and just experiment until you find good balance. Tamping is important so make sure you tamp coffee nice and flat and not apply excessive force.. just a normal tamp. If you need more advice in future just drop a PM.

 

Yeah I have and aeropress and v60 up till now for my filter side of things so understand the importance of fresh coffee. I placed an order in for this months dog and hat sub but luckily for me I live in nottingham so have access to some greater roasters (Cartwheel, outpost and 200 degrees) so will be popping into town today to pick up some beans from them.

 

I had already found a few videos of people pulling with the Sage BE so have a vague idea. I need to try and get the machines dose setting working as best i can so i can play around with it for each bean to get it close enough to perfect, as my other half is already complaining her morning coffee will take longer to make let alone making her get the scales out everytime.

 

How often do you descale/ use one of those cleaning tablets in it?

 

Im actually chuffed with the bargain i got, 270 for a manufacturer refurb model with 1 year warranty I can't complain at that

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Good for you. One of the most important thing is coffee beans. Find a good coffee roaster near you. I suggest you buy puly descaler sachets now for your future mainteance needs (these are on amazon) and cafiza cleaning tablets. Set grind to about 8 and go from there. I measure 18g of beans on digital scales and put them in a hopper and grind it all rather than use timer that is built in. There are plenty of youtube videos giving you tips on how to pull good shots.. and just experiment until you find good balance. Tamping is important so make sure you tamp coffee nice and flat and not apply excessive force.. just a normal tamp. If you need more advice in future just drop a PM.

 

Out of interest what volume/weight are you outputting when dosing in 18g coffee. Are you using the preset Sage parameter for a double shot of espresso (60g) or are you pulling something shorter?

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Posted (edited)

I have preset my shot. 18g of beans (19g if you are concerned about grinder retaining some amount of grinds) into double single walled basket and approx 38-42g of espresso out of it. I have double dose thing set on my sage, purely to get grinder to work longer. otherwise it doesn't really matter, because all you will get out is ~18g you put in.

(this one answers few questions above guys) hope it helps.

Edited by hummel89

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Nice one. I was tempted with dog and hat sub but then went back to my local roaster. With cleaning, it depends on your routine, if you clean the portafilter and back shower screen with a flush after you are done with coffee machine fo the day (and if you use the same beans) then can run it a bit longer.. 2/3 weeks. if you go for new beans then might as well clean it to get clean taste of different beans. With Descaling, it depends on type of water you use. If you live in hard water area and use tap water then once every 2/3 months. If you use bottled maybes every 6 months.. Look at the base plate of your kettle to get the idea whether you will be getting a lot of limescale build up. In any case, descale sachets aren't expensive and if you want coffee machine to last just stick to a routine regardless.

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Nice one. I was tempted with dog and hat sub but then went back to my local roaster. With cleaning, it depends on your routine, if you clean the portafilter and back shower screen with a flush after you are done with coffee machine fo the day (and if you use the same beans) then can run it a bit longer.. 2/3 weeks. if you go for new beans then might as well clean it to get clean taste of different beans. With Descaling, it depends on type of water you use. If you live in hard water area and use tap water then once every 2/3 months. If you use bottled maybes every 6 months.. Look at the base plate of your kettle to get the idea whether you will be getting a lot of limescale build up. In any case, descale sachets aren't expensive and if you want coffee machine to last just stick to a routine regardless.

 

Appreciate that I will stick to cleaning it every 2/3 weeks then. I'll either use waitrose essentials water as we shop with ocado anyway or tap water. We have owned the same kettle for nearly two years and there isnt a drop of limescale in it but will still descale every six months either way.

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Nice. One thing to keep in mind is that tap water will probably have specific odour and flavour if it stood in tank for a while, so worth swapping water daily. That wont be an issue with bottled water

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